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Friday, March 08, 2013

Reissuing a passport - 1 or Making a monkey of queuing theory

I need to apply for a UK visa, and the consulate needs 2 back-to-back blank pages in my passport for the same. Who knows why, but this ridiculous requirement has screwed up my travel plans and I've already wasted 2 full working days. Anyway, so now I needed to apply for a new passport since I dont have 2 back to back blanks on the old.

I filled the form and submitted it online for Tatkal on 5th March and then tried to figure out how to get an appointment online for the further processing at the Passport Seva Kendra.  There is no information on the process available on the passport website. Not surprising of course, just the Indian government living up to its promise:
"To deliver passport services to citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce"
Shri Salman Khurshid
On the website, every time I tried the link "Manage Appointment" I got the message "Maximum number of appointments exceeded for the day". Exasperated I started googling and was stunned by the amount of material on this stuff online. Great many people complaining bitterly online that its next to impossible to get an online appointment, many websites devoted to explaining the process and strategies to get an appointment at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) online. Seems its a black science, I kid you not. Sample these:
And an entire website devoted to getting the appointment: http://www.passportappointment.in/

This last website is a great pot of valuable info, and thats when one realizes that the entire appointment process must have been pakaoed in the fertile brain the size of  the left testicle of an ant. In brief  here's how it works:
  1. Discover from somewhere the actual time at which the online appointment window opens, this is 6pm for Bangalore, and is different for each city. Of course the Indian govt cant be bothered to provide this info in the first place, and this is the first fuckup.
  2. The booking window opens for a short duration, in this duration one has to click on the "Manage appointment" link, enter some captcha, select the date/time slot best suitable, enter some more captchas, and voila! one has an appointment to meet some shabby babu in the PSK.
  3. But back up a moment, do you think its so simple? Ha. Like I said, left testicle. At 6pm, all of Bangalore is also logged into the website trying to get the appointment, and the website just f-ing dies. On 5th March, the website just hung from 6 pm till 6:30, and I could not even go into the "manage appointment" link. And the punishment is that you need to try the entire process a full 24 hours later. And thats the 2nd fuckup.
  4. Needless to say most people cant figure all this shit out in the first place, get snafued by fuckup 1 and fuckup 2, and never manage to get the online booking, and end up paying the govt for overpriced Tatkal, or the touts.
And that ladies and gentlemen is the story of the "timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner" of service that the govt has setup for getting passports.

On to Reissuing a passport - 2 or Advance to the rear?

10 comments:

Muhammed Noufal said...

Hi guys,
Solution for :'Max Number of Appointments exceeded for the day,.

I am assuming that Passport seva portal caching some info regarding youR PC.
But, cache,cookie, IP resetting will not work(I tried).

Solution is complicated. You want to install 'tor' (An anonymity providing application). It will work fine. Tested and verified.

Passport Appointment Booking said...

Every PSK there will be some schedule at what time the database will be open for passport appointment booking. E.g. for PSK Kolkata it is 3 PM every day. You cannot try before that. Otherwise you will get a message same in the screen. Now if try from 3 PM time and able to view the next screen, then you can see the available slots. Simply you can click on a slot and further proceed for booking.
But the thing is not so easy. As many people try at the same time, so the database responds to them only who has a high speed or 3G internet. For a general internet speed you might reach to that screen, but by the time you click and book a slot, some will finish the booking itself. So practically there is no such tricks to book online passport appointment. But we have couple of choices or alternatives to get an appointment. Let's check them and try to find out whether they are useful or not.
First thing you can do is to take high speed internet connection. If you don't have that or you cannot replace your existing one then find out among your friends. It will be a just 5 min task.
Always keep trying to log in before 5 min of actual time. Keep trying, although you will get the massage. Because everyone will do the same. If you are able to manage a slot, then in the next screen you have to fill up the captcha or verification letters. Don't be in hurry, fill it up very carefully. Remember if you miss a single word, then you will not get a chance to come back again. You have to try next day. FOR passport appointment booking

Anonymous said...

Salman Khurshid is idiot. I doubt if he cares our frustration on such issues. You pay money, you try daily taking out time from some urgent task and then you see this message. Go to hell Khurshid.

Neetu Bansal said...

This is sooo true. I uploaded the form in April and was perplexed by the message. Then the friendly google and the came to the rescue. When I read about the process and the hurdles I felt sick. How can it be so silly and why we as Indians are ready to live with this stupidity. How difficult is it to show the available slots for the next sat 3 months ALL THE TIME and have the applicants choose what works for them? Something in tune to the railway ticket booking.
Well I read about a news that appointments are now paid so thought to try it agaqin. Maybe since it is now paid I thought there might have been an improvement. But alas, it seems like another money making strategy without any benefit to the Indian citizens. Nothing has changed. NOTHING!!!

Amit Bansal said...

@Neetu: Yeah, its just a stupid form and database implementation to enable people to select an appointment whenever convenient in the future. Embassies have this mechanism already in place for visa interviews. No rocket science. But of course when it comes to the GOI, everything has to be made needlessly complicated so that the babus feel important.

Shampoo said...

Well and if you haven't noticed.. it proudly says at the end
Maintained By TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES.

So much for the Indian IT sector, if you cant make a simple web form

Anonymous said...

Ah! What a sham, only the f'king crazy Khurshid and his chamchas can devise such products.

Roshan said...

On Sunday(Aug 25) it was saying Appointment available for 17th September (That Far - like 25 days away!!). So i did not take it.

But Now it is saying: All Appointments for the day are over.

I don't understand:
How can it say 17th September is available on day. And next day it says no appointment is available.

Confused.
I still don't get it - what i am supposed to do.

Roshan said...

Has the process changed for bangalore?
I see that, appointment for a distant future date.. like 25 days from now is being offered.

Is the earlier process of getting appointment at 6pm everyday no longer available now?

Passport India said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.